The operations and management of airports at Mangaluru, Lucknow and Ahmedabad will soon be taken over by the Adani Group. The group will look after all services at these airports, barring air traffic control and communication, navigation and surveillance services.

The transfer of services to the private sector will mean that passengers will have to pay more for using facilities such as parking, purchasing eats and using facilities at these airports. This follows the Union Cabinet’s nod for leasing these airports under a private-public partnership model.

Explaining the next few steps, official sources said, “Several processes will need to be followed like a letter being issued, joint activities like measuring the land being taken up, legal processes and some money will have to be deposited with the authorities. The process could take up to about two months to be completed.”

Sources added that the decision to clear three airports, instead of six for which a proposal was sent, was left to the Cabinet. Thiruvananthapuram airport is among the three other airports which have not got the Cabinet’s nod. The State government had protested the move to allow the airport to pass into the hands of the private sector.

Other airports

However, briefing the media on the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Prakash Javadekar, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, said the remaining three airports will be taken up later. The three other airports for which the Adani Group emerged as the winner in February are Guwahati, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram.

At that time the government had decided that the award of contract will only be given to the group after the Union Cabinet gave its nod.

AAI had sought bids for the operation and management of six existing airport assets as well as their upgradation and development of additional air-side terminals, city-side and land-side infrastructure for 50 years. The winning bid was decided on the basis of the highest per-passenger fee that the concessionaire will pay to the AAI monthly on a 50-year contract.

AAI will earn ₹525-575 crore per year based on the rate quoted by Adani Enterprises and this will increase based on traffic growth. Besides, the rate for international passengers will be twice the rate quoted for domestic passengers.

On Wednesday, the government said that these projects will bring efficiency in delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the much needed investments in the public sector. This will also result in enhanced revenues for AAI, which may lead to further investment by AAI in Tier-II and Tier-III cities and economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure.